Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Attenborough Flora

Continuing on yesterday's theme of Attenborough Nature Reserve, some more floral delights from our walk. Firstly, a familiar if rather spiky friend, a thistle. In this case a Spear Thistle (Cirsium vulgare).

A member of the family Asteraceae and as such a cousin of the daisies, the Spear Thistle is named by DEFRA as an 'injurious weed' requiring the occupier of the land on which it grows, to take immediate action to prevent it's spreading! Such a pity when it is such a useful flower for all types of insect.
Next the Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Also known as Gordaldo, Nosebleed plant, Old Man's Pepper, Sanguinary, Milfoil, Soldier's Woundwort, Thousand-leaf and Thousand-seal. The 'Thousand' of those last two names referring to the scientific name of millefolium. It is a very useful plant in medicine as an aid to healing wounds and abrasions. Achilles is supposed to have carried this plant into battle for just such these reasons - hence the Scientific name Achillea!
One plant you may not be so familiar with is this small, greenish flowered climbing perennial, the White Bryony (Bryonia alba)

The Royal Navy have named two ships HMS Bryony after this plant see HERE and HERE
Lastly, do you remember the Tall Melilot I mentioned a few days ago? Well, a cousin of that 'pea' plant is the White Melilot (Melilotus albus).

Again a useful forage plant and nitrogen 'fixer'.
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